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tv   1865 Person of the Year Elizabeth Brown Pryor on Clara Barton  CSPAN  April 2, 2015 11:55pm-12:45am EDT

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virginia and the vited american civil war museum invited five historians to present their arguments for d their candidates. next elizabeth brown pryor mom nominates s clara barton. this is about 45 minutes. okay. ladies and gentlemen, our last speaker and our last mom nominee, elizabeth brown pryor the book eventually received i think every prize in the world elizabeth. the lincoln prize our jefferson d davisa award, the richard b. harwell book award and the richard slaten award for ence i excellence inn virginia ograph biography. p i personally had the opportunity to read aloud an excerpt for an
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st uncorrected proof of that book standing at this podium during the introduction of our 2007 symposium about robert e. lee z ofte as isn often true, there's a hi story behind elizabeth's rise to historian.-- she studied with the now president of harvard university. and i must tell a story about drew. when she waswh madee the president of harvard, people were saying le, sh isn't this unbelievable? she's the first female to be theto president of harvard and i commented to her that i thought it was more remarkable she was the first prepped of thefriend of the confederacy. but she embarked as a career at arlington house. she published clara barton
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professional angel. meanwhile, her career took off in a different direction when she entered the u.s. foreign service and served 20 years. is now this is typical background for a civil war historian.zabeth elizabeth served 20 years as a highly decorated senior diplomat and conventional arms negotiator for the state al department. she has spokenl all over the world on american history. in american diplomacy and appears regularly on radio and television programs based on hernow work. now retired and we're great to great have her here with us in he richmond, now retired from the n and foreign service, she's a promises full-time historian and is continuing an important study ofof abr abraham lincoln.nd gen ladies and gentlemen elizabeth pryor. [ applause ]
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good afternoon.ce thanks for such a very nice th introduction and thanks to the american civil war museum and john koski in particular for arranging this program.ave and thanks to you. you've been a champion audience. yo so i'll flatter you also.s a but it actually is a pleasure to th speak to a group that's so knowledgeable. so quick g with good questions and you c follow up and newsy information. it's great that you can get the nuances without having somebody smooth them over for for now we just heard powerfour great la talks, but we've saved the best for last. and i have the pleasure of rkable talking about a remarkable quir visionary and feisty and quirky ng person. so it's a bit like having a reward at the end of a long day.
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when i first got the message from john koski asking me to pr give a presentation i thought i ask was going to ask me to speak about somebody else. my house is populated by a popula number of historical ghosts. so i thought he was going to ask me to speak about robert e. lee or maybe abraham lincoln, and i was a little dishart neartened, because i didn't think i could f th legitimately make the case for either of those or maybe even should make the case for them for person of the year in 1865. i thought their laurels should plea come in different years. but i was extremely pleased when he asked me to talk about deserv someone elsees and it's the person i think deserves to win for 1865. job i think my colleagues did an excellent job, but this is the person i think deserves the on designation. not only for what this person did in 1865, but for how those deeds changed the world, and a
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deed affected the life of every person in this room. now you recall that on may 23 and it24 1865, union soldiers of every rank flanked the president and had a mighty victory display, but someone was absent from that parade. raerson was prominent enough that aides in the white house went out onto the portico to see if they had missed the moment, if they could see this person in the parade. and they were quite annoyed when they didn't see who they thought they were going to. one of them took the time to note it down in his diary. and he said, "one person who should be here is ms. clara barton. she has been known and called the angel of the battle field. she was in fredericksburg during the terrible burnside battle there, having crossed the river on the pontoon bridge while the rebels were shelling it. she was there again last summer when the city was filled with our wounded after the battle of the wilderness. i'm told that she seemed on such
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occasions totally incensible to danger." now, as it happens clara barton had been invited to be in that victory parade. she had a good reason for not being there. she had work to do. as horatio nelson taft noted clara barton was already a household name in 1865. she had done everything he mentioned and more. she had part of her skirt blown away as she crossed that pontoon bridge in fredericksburg. she was also under heavy fire at cedar mountain second manassas, fort wagner and spotsylvania. at an feet tim, a bullet whizzed under her arm as she was cradling a soldier, wounded soldier on the field, cut through her plows and killed that man. you know i thought at one point that i had been possibly been hoodwinked by some of clara's stories, they were so dramatic because this is a story she told in a series of lectures that she gave. i thought, well, clara was her up best publicist sometimes and
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so maybe something about this is true but not quite. and when we were searching through some newly discovered rooms of hers on 7th street in washington, d.c., where she lived after the war and she stashed a whole a lot of her stuff, one of the things we found was a blouse with a bullet hole going under there. [ laughter ] at an teat tim, she also assisted at amputations under artillery fire when the sur john's assistants flinched. when they ran out of bandables, she bound up the wounds with green corn leaves. she also solicited supply, basketballered the war department for better treatment for the soldiers and directed four regimental hospitals. through it all, she treated the wounded of both sides equally. now, clara barton was not the only woman who did splendid work for the armies. on both sides, many, many women volunteered. some 8,000 women on the union side alone worked in the hospitals. what sets barton apart is that
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she was actually working on the field under heavy fire most of the time. she once said that "my place is anywhere between the bullet and the hospital." when she returned from one field, she described wringing the blood from the pot both tomorrow of her skirts to relieve the weight about her feet. needless to say all of this was remarkable enough to win laurels for clara barton, but that's not why she deserves to be person of the year for 1865. january 1865 found clara parton supervising a hospital at city point. it was the beginning of an astonishing year, during which she recognized a series of badly needed reforms and began to put them in place. at the time, her ideas were visionary. today, we can't imagine our world without them. as she spoke to the men in the hospital barton noted how many were desperate that their families should know what happened to them.and she realized that there was a glaring gap in army
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accountability. by 1864, strict roll calls were required and meticulous rosters of army remments were kept but next to many of the names, the word missing was placed. and increasingly so after the terrible battles of spring 1864. prison records on both sides were, at best, incomplete. in fact, by the end of the war, half of the union dead were unknown, unnamed. and some 200,000 were officially listed as missing. these figures were shocking enough but what barton understood was that raw statistics alope could not capture the mental anguish of the uncertainty that these people's families felt. absolutely maximized the scars and suffering that the nation had already undergone. this was not just a problem for the military you a problem for the american people, a terrible burden, both north and south. but the army and navy had no mechanism to find out what had
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happened to so many of their men. barton recognized that the only record, as it were of these soldiers was in the memory of their comrades. brothers in arms are called where one had fall on captured or a patrol boat had gone down or, in some cases, who had disappeared while straggling. barton had also begun to receive a great many requests from anxious families for information about the whereabouts of individuals. she was a known name people thought she was working in the hospitals. maybe she had seen my son or my husband. she wanted to create a system by which she could match those inquiries with information provided by hospital workers wounded soldiers, company captains and returning prisoners, prisoners who just at that point, were beginning to return. and she came up with the idea of publishing lists of names of people thought to be missing in newspapers and to request anyone who had knowledge about them to send it to her. she would be a kind of pass-through. she would get the information
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and send it along, both to the war department and to the families. this was a homemade cottage project, but the information was almost impossible to find in any other way. barton tried to see president lincoln about it in february 1865, but he wouldn't see her. lincoln did not like strong-minded women. [ laughter ] and in fact more or less what today we would call dissed every single one who came to his office including julia ward howe susan b anthony, harriet beacher stowe, anna dickenson and so on. all of them were working for his cause but he refused to see them. so, her friend, senator henry wilson to lobby for her and in the end general ethan allen hitchcock, who was in charge of prisoners approved the project. she got her lists published in the newspapers through some connections and cronies that she had there and she had them
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published in all the major papers of new york, philadelphia, boston and new orleans and charleston. she had a little office for a while at man nap poe his where the returning prisoners were coming in but later moved the operation, if that's what you could call this to her rooms on 7th street. she always hoped that the military would officially take on the project and give her a proper office and some staff you for a variety of reasons, that never happened. some of this had to do with red tape, some of it had to do with personality, some had to do with resistance of -- for having a woman, any woman, even clara barton sitting in the male precinct of the war department n the end, she not only virtually did the job by herself, but paid for it. she had worked for free throughout the war and did so again during all of 1865. by the end of that year, she had used up her ready cash and her inher tans from her father. it's not the first time in my life that i've come to the bottom of the bag, she wrote in
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her diary that christmas. i guess i'll die a pauper yet. but in its way barton's scheme had been a success. she was receiving thousands of letters a week what she called the collective coinage of aching hearts. the war department was beginning to take her work seriously and she had been able to identify more than 22,000 of the missing. most of them were dead. you at least their families could move forward with certainty. an important part of the story began on a day when a horribly thin young man named dore rance atwater contacted barton. he had been taken prisoner after gettysburg and ultimately had ended up at andersonville prison. because of his exceptional handwriting, atwater had been given the rather grisly job of accounting for each day's death -- cataloging them on a roster. the numbers grew so horrifying that atwater began to fear that prison officials would either falsify or destroy the death
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rolls. so he secretly copied them and he was able to spirit them out when i was finally released in the spring of 1865. he brought them to barton to compare with her own lists of missing men and more than 13,000 names matched. atwater also told barton that the men had been buried in long common graves with only a number to mark the spot, but that he had noted the numbers next to the names of the dead on his ledger. barton decided right then and there to go to the scene and properly mark the graves. she took her plan to general hitchcock and then later to secretary stannen, who, for once, received her warmly and when stanton heard of barton's plan to make andersonville memorial to the men who had perished there he embraced the plan. he asked atwater to travel back to the site, sent a military contingent along with him and he invited barton to accompany them. so, in july 1865 barton began a remarkable odyssey into the heart of the devastated south.
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it was a very painful journey. roads and railway lines were destroyed. citizens were hostile. military men in charge of the expedition were not particularly pleased that a lady was in their minds, just along for the ride. parton and her tales about andersonville prison from returning prisoners, and there were many prisons north and south that were quite terrible places, but i think we are safe in saying that andersonville stood out for its horrendous conditions of exposure and starvation. we don't entirely know the reasons for this. robert e lee said that the confederacy was the time andersonville was started and that his own soldiers were starving at the same time but other people said that in that part of georgia, there was plenty of food and water and plenty of wood and other materials that they could have made proper housing. in any case, whether because of mismanagement or the personality of the common dant
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andersonville did seem to be a particularly harsh place. barton was one of the first persons to see this dreadful place after its closure. the relishes of imprisonment were everywhere. stockades where the men had been crowded, burr rose in the earth where the prisoners had tried shelter themselves, the deadline that they were shot for stepping over. she thought she had seen everything in the war. every terror it had to offer, every built of brutality every kind of deprivation. but nothing had prepared barton for the horror of andersonville. i have looked upon its terrible face, she wrote, but friends not in the same breath in which i would speak of anything else would i speak of this. my heart sickened, stood still and my brain whirled and the light of my eyes went out. overwhelmed, she consoled herself in the evenings with mr. tuft's blackberry cordial. she also began to formulate a
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plan. fortunately, the lists atwater had made corresponded to the numbered pass graves and began to lay out a space as a real cemetery to market graves with names and regiments to plant gardens around the remnants of suffering. when the army team fat faltered parton lettered the headboards herself. finally, 12,500 names were memorialized there. the captain in charge still shunned her and the other male workers pointedly ignored her, but in the end, barton -- they paid barton an enormous tribute. when the cemetery was completed and about to be dedicated, bart.was chosen to raise the flag over the newly identified graves. "i advanced and ran it up amid the cheers of the men ""she wrote in her diary. "the work was done." the dedication of the cemetery at andersonville was country wide news. on october 7, 1865, harper's weekly ran as its cover story a lithograph of ms. clara barton raising the flag. and of course, today, it's both a national cemetery and national
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historic site. one other thing happened during the weeks at andersonville that strongly affected barton's work during 1865. when word got out she was there local african-americans began to visit her, often coming long distances, they had heard of lincoln's assassination and some were being duped into believing that the emancipation proclamation had now been returned and they were not free. others were being kept in a kind of quasislavery with the promise of wages but no payment ever forthcoming much i think dr. newbie alexander did an excellent job of explaining some of the situations that the freed men found themselves in. word got out that an honest yankee woman was in the neighborhood and it seems to have traveled very quickly because right away barton had many people at her door, some days more than 100 former slaves. she told them that lincoln was, indeed, dead, but read them the 13th amendment to the constitution, and army orders that prohibited keeping anyone in forced labor.
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she also reported the situation to secretary stanton. this was not the first time barton had encountered the difficulties of freed persons n 1863 while stationed in south carolina, she had been exposed to the black population on sea islands and to experiments an education and job training that were going on there. she hospital known much about slavery until that time but it had powerfully affected her and especially after she witnessed the bravery of the u.s. colored troops at the assault on fort wagner. she increasingly saw the destiny of the country being bound up in the way it handled the societial revolution that came about really as a result of emancipation n 1865, barton pledged to work on behalf of a african-americans african-americans, writing to joseph grieving very active in that movement and later to frederick douglass to offer her services for freed men's education.
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during debate over voting rights she sided with douglas and others who thought the ballot should be given directly to african-americans without complicating the issues with women's suffrage or other ex-trainious matters. she was a i love-long feminist and vocal advocate of women's entitlement to vote. barton would write requests if the door be not wide enough to admit all at once and one must wait, then i am willing. i am willing to stand back and see the old slave go through before me while i stand with head uncovered." i would add that although the experiences at andersonville troubled barton deeply she never stopped treating people the same in all regions of the country. her office of missing men searched for southerners as well as for union men. and when she directed the red cross, every relief field but one she worked on was in a southern state. to say that barton's work in the summer of 1865 was pioneering is to understate the case. no one had taken the trouble to
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account for missing men. no one had even considered them important once off the fields except as a casualty statistic. no one had considered the dignity of recognizing every soldier and the importance of every soldier's family. no one had figured out how to search for the missing, let alone honor them by caring enough to make the effort n later years of the 19th censure ray number of groups did make it their business. both north and south to mark graves, erect memorials and pay tribute to the unknown dead. and of course, today the military credo is that every individual counts that no one gets left behind. but in 1865, nobody was doing that except clara barton. barton's work with missing men at andersonville and with freed men is extremely strike. yet it was only after this experience that she began the remarkable efforts that i believe tee serves special commendation. because in all of these
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accomplishments, none of them left whatter rah parton self-satisfied. she could not just leave the war by raising a flag or declaring victory and marching in a parade. to barton, much of her work seemed empty because it never should have had to have been done to begin w the lack of sun plies, the understaffed and overcrowded hospitals, the long, long lists of missing soldiers, the unspeakable prison companies, both north and south, she saw little nobility in practicinging about battles won or glorious deeds performed and she had not joined in the collective sigh of relief that the war was at least over. barton wanted to change the situation, so that the terrible things that she had witnessed would not happen again. her take on the whole war, she would, was that it was a hampered work, a worth largely lost. she says, and again, i'm quoting, "but through this came knowledge and knowledge is power. and never again in the deadliest hour shall we be so beset. never again in the deadliest
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hour shall we be so beset." and that is what clara barton set out to accomplish. now, barton was no idealist. she didn't campaign for an end to all war or a ban on cruelty or an instant reversal of every army regulation. in fact, she was a pragmatist. and fully believed that war would come again and possibly soon. what she did think was that the ineptitude, lack of preparation and the resulting anguish did not have to be so acute. and she began devising ways to avoid needless suffering. one of the first issues she tackled, she tackled while she was still working with the wounded on the field and that was the problem of identity. though a fair amount of information was taken down about a soldier when he enlisted or was drafted, there was nothing to show who the physical person was, no name tag on the uniform, no number of the regiment no personal identification. as uniforms became worn and men exchanged pieces of clothing or
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lost items, it became even harder. southerners, of course, were chronically short of clothes and often stripped fallen yankees of their shirts pants or pelts and so by the late war it became difficult even to tell which side a dead or wounded soldier was on. and of course without becoming too grisly, the longer a body stayed in the field without burial, the harder it became to recognize even physical features. soldiers were themselves well aware of the problem. you will recall that famous episode at cold harbor when unionmen saw they were going to assault a position that they thought meant certain death and so, wrote their names on pieces of paper and pinned them to the back of their clothes so they might be identified as they fell. a few manufacturers did advertise name tags for sale and some individual union soldiers at least did buy them, but it was not the official system. what barton did was to devise a system of what she called card tags, little papers that were
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pinned inside the clothing. the tags listed name, regiment company and hometown. she cut out those tags and she gave them to men in the hospitals and she also bullied surgeons and some company captains who owed her favors to get them to require the men to wear them. it was not a perfect solution. the tag does get lost or damaged, clothing could get exchanged, et cetera. but it was more than existed at the time. the us iffed members of the military did not accept it soizelism even though barton propose and hitchcock approved it would be adopted throughout the army, it was more or less strangled by red tape a number of years. but interestingly, barton again raised the subject after the franco prussian war, another war in which she worked with wounded right on the field. here she saw the first wounded in america literally dog tags, made of metal and which the prussian army issued to every soldier. she thought them a great vans
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offer her own idea. up fortunately, the u.s. army didn't follow her advice until 1906. barton, however was undaunted by the war department's reactionary ways and she went on to address another problem. and that was the treatment of prisoners. could not, should not she ask, there be a code for prison conditions agreed pie all parties? could there not at least be a minimum standard for food shelter and the general health of the captive men? were the horrors of andersonville and other atrocious prisons to be clucked over for a few years and then be repeated? this was a radical idea to men who still believed that the rough handling of prisoners was not just normal, but perhaps a justified expression of hostility to the enemy. the treatment of prisoners hadn't received much attention during the war, the north had been appalled at the news that rebels shot some u.s. colored troops rather than take them prisoner at places like fort pillow and lincoln had stopped prisoner exchange for a while as
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a result. some people claimed that this was, in fact, responsible for the ill treatment at places like andersonville as the south had fewer and fewer resources to care for the growing band of captives. there was also an attempt to delineate a real code of conduct for the armies what you-all know as the lieber code, but that code really only dealt with the status of captive soldiers. that was a tricky problem. lincoln wanted to make the political point that confederate soldiers were were not enemy bus countrymen in rebellion and their status as belynn rents therefore, was somewhat confused. what the lieber code did not do was to set out regulations for the humanitarian treatment of captives. clara barton proposed a standard be set for prison conditions and that it be subject to inspection and verification pie representatives of both sides. she went so far as to make a list of minimum considerations that a prisoner should expect and they were minimal shelter a blanket, one meal a day, water.
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as i mentioned barton was no airy idealist. still, this was far more than what she had witnessed at andersonville hitchcock again agreed with this. but once more the sluggish military bureaucracy was resistant to change. recalled lincoln in his military staff declined to sign even the geneva convention of 1864, i zwi not cover prisoners but did guarantee neutrality for civilians like barton who were caring for the wounded. what barton wanted to see was a real and lasting policy, not a series of discount jointed reactions to incidents as they' rose. this he wanted to see a set of expectations a code for civilized behavior toward the most vulnerable people in wartime, which included prisoners. quite simply, she want a retreat from pausch barity, barton's proposal for the fair treatment of prisoners also languish ted war department through indifference, delay and a failure of vision. clara barton however, was a visionary and she kept her
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sights on the future. she did not drop the she had devised in 1865 for the treatment of captives in wartime. instead, she continued to refine it and lobby for its accept dance. ultimately, this farsighted and far reaching plan scribbled on little scraps of paper from her tempt in andersonville which you can still see among her documents. ultimately, this proposal was incorporated into the international laws of war. she represented the u.s. at the meetings of the geneva convention that considered it and her name is attached to it those interested in exploring barton's role in all of this might want to visit the red cross museum in geneva, switzer land. they think highly of ms. barton there. there's an entire room devoted to her, perhaps a more fitting memorial than the rest stop on the new jersey turnpike that we have named for her. [ laughter ] the third path-breaking effort made in 1865 was to devise a system of medical service that
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could be organized before any hostileities started. her idea was that once the shooting began it was too lit to start collecting supplies or recruit appropriate personnel. she wanted something that would be ready to go whenever it was needed. this again was in sharp contrast to the experience of both sides in the civil war, which had to scramble to put together medical arrangements while the chris skies are was upon them. the first thing barton proposed was that warehouses be built where supplies could be collected and stored so they could be quickly pulled off the shelves and made available. her own house was living proof of this. during the war, barton had solicited supplies as well as distributed them and she had lived with piles of blankets and bandages and bottles of brandy stacked all around her. if you visit her 1865 offices on 7th street you will see how this works. outwardly, you see parlor and desks and some business equipment. but she built a false ceiling above the rooms that when opened was a kind of alad.'scave,
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holding every sort of medicine and hospital stores all clearly labeled, all ready to be used. it's a wonderful indication of barton's personality and the way she so intricately combined her life and her work. her idea was that the government could use this model on a vast scale, ensuring its ability to react instantly to a military crisis. however, warehouses filled with military stores were not enough for barton. she wanted to have personnel in place, on call, to be brought in to work at a home's notice. and she wanted them trained. bart.shared the war department's skepticism about well-meaning amateurs pouring onto fields or into hospital wards a lot of them, she said, were just in the way. but she didn't think that everybody needed a medical degree to be useful. her idea was to have civilian men and women, schooled in the procedures needed to deal with emergency cases, trained in the proper way to bandable wounds, familiar with medical language
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so they could respond quickly to doctors' orders, knowledgeable about medicines of the day. she wanted them capable enough and ex-peer whied enough that they could leap into the breach before professional medical help arrived. in short barton wanted the volunteers to be qualified. and then she wanted something more. she wanted each trained worker to have a small kit made up of the most commonly needed supplies for an urgent situation. in 1865 she put a knife, bandages plan day, a salve she had made from laudanum and lan know line, matches and smelling salts in her own kit. she wanted those kits to be handy and she wanted them to be portable. she took one with her to andersonville and required them for staff during the years she headed the red cross. later, she named them first aid kits. army men, of course, ininitially rejected these notions. some of the suggestions, the
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idea of dparpd earning stores before bat began, for example, also been proposed in the first geneva convention, though barton had not heard of it in 1865 and recalled that the u.s. had declined to agree to that convention. the army said it didn't have time or space to collect supplies. they wanted to discourage volunteers, not train them. they thought any treatment even an urgent situations, ought to be handled by the surgeons. today, of course the military has embraced all of barton's ideas but they only adopted them after they suffered dreadful and unnecessary casualties in the spanish american and first world wars. 1865 barton shared her thoughts with military doctors she had worked with and they liked them. one of those surgeons dr. james dunn, looked at this remarkably advanced program of fixing problems before they happened..a program that would revolutionize emergency assistance. and he sent these words to his wife. "now what do you think of ms. barton," he said?
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"in my feeble estimation all the generals with all laurels seek into insigg dance beside her, the true heroine of the able." i would note that in her spare time in 1865 parton corresponded with frederick douse lag voting rights and living conditions for the freed men, lobbied for the 13th amendment in her home state was introduced to susan b anthony and joined the suf raj movement and wrote her first lecture called requests work and incidents of army life." she was not the first woman lecturer but they were still rare at the time. she hated public speaking. and only did it because she was broke. she spent all of her money on the missing men prom jeblgt. but once she took the podium, she made it a point to demand and receive fees equal to the male lecturers. she became a very popular speaker and ultimately was earning the same money as mark twain. and that was something else that she started in 1865. it's called leadership.
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the ability to see around corners, to resolve trouble before it begins, to shed old ways and find new solutions to persistent problems, to remain unsatisfied with winning a battle and instead work to prevent another one. to do more than conceive a reform but have the personal force to put it in place. this is a different brand of leadership from the physical courage soldiers need to risk their life on the patel field. but then clara barton had shown she could do that too. she was quite simply one of the greatest americans who has ever lived. and that was not because of what she did at an teat tim or fort wagner or the willederness, remarkable as she was in those situation. at what's barton did in 1865 when she conceived of an entirely new way of doing thing a new way that has survived to this day and affected lives around the globe. that is what made her a world-class citizen. that's why we honor her today.
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you know, one of barton's little quirks was that she liked to write poetry and most of it is very, very bad. [ laughter ] it rarely rises above the level of doggerel. but she did write one little jewel about her world work called "the women who went to the field." and at the end of it she asks the question "what would you do if the war came again? well clara says scarlet cross the red cross floats were always plank then. but what would she do if war came again? i would bind on my practices the and march to the fray, she said. and the men liveth not who could say to me nay. i would stand with you now as i stood with you then. i would stand with you now as i stood with you then. for everyone who has assumed that each life is valuable in the service of the united states, that no one would be forgotten or abandoned or simply crossed off a list for anyone
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who has worn a dog tag or understood that every soldier would be accounted for, for any african-american who has looked for respect or fought for civil rights, for anyone who has been taken prisoner or known someone taken prisoner and presumed that there would be civilized standards of treatment, for any woman who stood at a lectern, i do today and fought for equal pay for equal work, for anyone who has believed that the wounded or crippled or distressed should be treated equally, no matter what their political views and for anyone who has ever wanted a little kit marked first aid and wrapped a bandage around a child's bleeding finger, well, clara barton stands with you now just as she stood with you then. and that was 1865. for clarissa harlow parton. thank you. [ applause ]
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question? so sorry i'm losing my voice a little bit here. i see somebody in the back. >> when one examines all the photographs of clara barton you come to realize that she is smiling in all of them. i beyondwonder if you have any reflection what might be behind that smile, what she is trying to say to the people that are looking at her photographs. >> it is a small smile isn't it, though? it is not a pig grin. um, i don't really know, she didn't like having her picture taken. she didn't consider herself an attractive woman and most people didn't consider her very attractive. i think she looks great, strong capable face, but she destroyed a whole series of photos that matthew brady took of her during the war so i don't know if that
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is an attempt maybe to make herself look a little more appealing, a little more attractive. in her later life, she became enormously effective at self-publicity, she absolutely understood the value of publicity and when she was starting the red cross, needed publicity and positive publicity particularly what she was doing was so unorthodox for a woman. and and you know, one of the things that really distinguishes clara barton also is she was famous for 50 years of her life. 50 years is a very, very long time. robert e. lee, for instance, was famous for four years and a few years after the war. most people have a much smaller time span of celebrity. 50 years you have got to maintain an image pretty robustly. so, i can't really answer that. i know she was vain. she dyed her hair. susan b anthony taught her to dye her hair. she dyed her hair, rubbed this stuff, lanolin on her face and apparently looked years younger
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than her age, but she was very conscious of her appearance and maybe that's the reason. >> the national park service has the following headline, ms. clara bart opinion organized the expedition to andersonville identified the graves and established andersonville national cemetery. second, did clara barton make any reference to the union prisoners at andersonville who were taken advantage robbing, even murdering and then themselves were tried and hung at andersonville? these were union officers mistreating union men? did she address that? >> i'm not familiar with the latter parts. i don't think she did mention it. i don't know why the park service has that on. she was certainly along and it was her suggestion. that's very clear, clear in the stanton papers where he talks about her coming into the office and clear in her diary that she was -- dore rance at water is really the person who kept the
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death rolls, had identified the graves and went along also and then there were -- there was an army captain in charge captain moore, who was in charge of the expedition. i would have to look at to see why -- >> [ inaudible ] >> his papers he talks about her coming in and suggesting this and then leapt onto it. >> at water initially refused to speak with stanton about his list and that he had to go to clara because somehow stanton or others did not w(u$is information out? >> it became a very messy situation because at water initially went to the war
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department and didn't see interesting, went to clara barton. general hitchcock was the way she did t she was able to get an entry. but then there was a whole dispute about who occupied the -- who occupied the -- these death rolls and at water said i was willing to loan them to the war department but i own them. then the war department accused him of trying to get money by printing them. in the end, they printed them for free. they printed them -- clara had them printed in the newspaper. you there was a whole trial about whether he had somehow tried to steal his own rolls that he had brought out of andersonville. in the end, he was acquitted a it was thrown out of court as a ridiculous case. a lot of it had to do with very petty personalities, this captain moore, that incident seems to have been trumped up he wrote a very nasty set of articles in the newspaper about how he didn't want this woman along with him and that he had -- she was taking offense at
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everything that happened. very hard to sort out exactly what happened. certainly, there was bad blood and one of the reasons it was such an unpleasant trip for clara barton and captain moore too. other questions? thank you very much. [ applause ] >> okay, ladies and gentlemen, i hope you have enjoyed these presentations and nominations. i -- the -- we have got one iconic general. we have got 4 million freed men and women. we have got two american presidents, one of the confederate states and the other of the united states, and one remarkable woman. the ballots are being passed out now, if you can vote and please do it as rapidly as you can and
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remain in your seats for a quick tallying of the votes. >> this is pretty interesting. we were talking about the tifrps between a plurality and a majority and bob, you said nobody had ever won a majority. this year. clara barton.
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[ applause ] clara barton got 55 votes and all others counted together got 39. we have really enjoyed doing this series of man or woman or person of the year or people of the year. i don't know if we will do it again any time soon, but come back again next year for our symposium that will be on the saturday closest to george washington's birthday. we hope the weather's a little bit better next year. but please join me in thanking john koske and ourers ser our speakers for this year's event and have safe travels. [ applause ] >> [ inaudible ] >> yeah, robert e. lee was
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second with 24. lincoln, davis were right even and the freed men were last. second with 24. and the freed men were last. and the freed men were last. you're watching american history tv in primetime and every weekend here on c-span3 experience american history tv, starting saturday at 8 a.m. eastern. for more information, follow us on twitter at c-span history. like us on facebook or visit our
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website at and with congress out this week for their spring recess, we continue american history tv in primetime on friday night with a look at the history of washington, d.c. beginning at 8:00 with historian kenneth bowling on how d.c. became the capital of the united states. that's followed by a bying of grapher scott berg on pierre charles len fant, the french architect who designed washington. and at 10:40 architectural historian, steven hanson, chronicles the history of one of washington, d.c.'s most famous neighborhoods, du pont circle. that all begins friday the 8 p.m. eastern right here on c-span3. here are some of our featured programs for the holiday weekend on the c-span networks. on c-span saturday at 8 p.m. eastern, former texas state senator and gubernatorial candidate wendy davis on the
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challenges facing women in politics. and easter sunday at 6:30 p.m., golfing legend jack nicklaus receives the congressional gold medal for his contributions to the game and community service. on c-span2's book tv saturday night at 10 p.m. eastern, on after words, activist and author cornel west on the radical political thinking of martin luther king, jr. and sunday at into on in depth, our live three-hour conversation with former investigative reporter for the "washington post", and "new york times" best selling author ronald kessler. he has written 20 books, including "escape from the cia" "the sins to. father" and "the first family detail." american history tv on c-span3 saturday at 8 p.m. eastern on lectures in history east carolina university professor emeritus charles calhoun accomplishments made bayou less
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sis s grant on us history and patrick schroder takes us on a tour of a poe malt tox courthouse in virginia, the site of the confederate surrender on april 9, 1865. each year time magazine selects a single person who had the most influence on events during the previous 12 months. if the same question were posed in the year 1865, who would "time" have selected as person of the year? the library of virginia and the american civil war museum invited five historians to their nominees. next, a. wilson greene nominates confederate general robert e. lee. this is just over 50 minutes. okay. let's go ahead and get started. good -- i should say cold morning, everyone. i'm the co-ceo of the civil war museum. on behalf of my


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